Let's rewind a bit: road cycling has always been my first choice, a thrilling ride along winding roads, chasing the horizon at every turn. But life threw a curveball with frustrating injuries in Spring this year, threatening to halt my two-wheeled adventures. It all began with tendinitis in my arm, a nagging discomfort that made every ride a challenge. The persistent pain didn't deter me initially, but fate had more in store.
A subsequent injury to my foot brought everything to a screeching halt. Suddenly, any physical activity became an impossibility for over two long months. Imagine the frustration of being sidelined, especially as the weather turned inviting for summer rides. It was a cruel blow, stealing away most of the summer and my cycling pursuits for the year.
Determined to overcome these hurdles, I turned my focus to recovery. After months of rest, rehabilitation, and unwavering determination, I found myself at a crossroads, eager to get back on the saddle but hesitant, unsure if I could regain the same fervour for cycling after the prolonged hiatus.
In the midst of recovery, I hesitantly dipped my toes into gravel riding. The rugged, unpredictable ground initially felt like a stark contrast to the smooth roads I'd grown accustomed to. I'll admit, I had my doubts about this new terrain and initially thought that gravel riding definitely was not for me! But with some perseverance and good company on our Social Rides, something unexpected happened—I began to enjoy it. The initial apprehension slowly gave way as I discovered the thrill of navigating the gravel paths.
That's where the SIX 22 Gravel Bike enters the picture, a beacon of hope and renewal. This bike represents not just a means of transportation but a partner in my journey to reclaim the passion that injury threatened to steal away. This bike isn't just a new addition to my fleet; it's a bridge between my devotion to road cycling and the uncharted allure of gravel trails.
As winter sets in, truth be told, I'm not the biggest fan of the cold, my determination to keep riding through winter remains unwavering. It's not about loving the frosty air; it's about defying the elements, embracing the challenge, and pushing myself to explore new routes even when my teeth are chattering and my fingers and toes are numb.
So, why did I turn to the SIX 22 Gravel Bike? As a bicycle shop owner I've had the privilege of trying out several different gravel bikes and trust me, it was a difficult choice to make. It wasn't solely for its build quality or its capability to tackle diverse terrains (though those were big selling points!). The ability to choose its colour, specific groupset, and components allowed me to create a bike that not only met my riding needs but also reflected my personal style and performance preferences. This bike was a second chance, a partner inviting me to give gravel riding another shot, promising a different perspective and a renewed appreciation for the unexpected.
Now, let's talk tech. This bike rocks a super-light carbon frame that's like your best buddy - nimble, reliable, and ready to take on any challenge. I opted fora blue chromatic paint finish which looks fantastic outdoors. The SRAM Apex AXS electronic groupset I opted for works like magic. Seriously, gear changes are as smooth as butter and quieter than a ninja. With just a tap, you're gliding from one gear to another without a peep. Plus, the 44T cassette choice is a game changer - it's a secret weapon for conquering those steep hills like a pro. I truly couldn't believe how easy climbing was on a particularly tough segment.
But here's where things get even cooler - I opted for a dropper post and a DT Swiss 650b wheelset with Maxxis Rambler 47c tubeless tyres. The dropper post? It's like having a secret weapon, giving you extra control and confidence on tricky descents or bumpy terrains. And those DT Swiss 650b wheels? They're like the cherry on top, adding a dash of agility and resilience to my ride.
Listen, I totally get it, winter's not everyone's cup of tea. That's where this bike steps in. It's all about comfort. No matter how frosty it gets, this ride's got your back. It's like your own personal comfort zone on two wheels, cushioning you from the chill and making those winter rides a bit more bearable.
So, if you're not a fan of the cold but still crave those adrenaline-pumping rides, the SIX 22 Gravel Bike is your go-to companion. It might not warm you up, but it'll make those icy escapades a heck of a lot more enjoyable.
In a nutshell, as I gear up for chilly adventures and bundle up against winter's chill, the SIX 22 Gravel Bike becomes more than just a piece of equipment, it becomes my go-to ride for gravel trails, climbing like a boss and doing it with a smile on my face, nudging me beyond my comfort zone and offering a fresh lens through which to view cycling.
- Adele Brennan